Charm Therapeutics has raised $50 million in a Series A funding round co-led by F-Prime Capital and OrbiMed. The capital is slated to be used to further the company’s ambitions of transforming structure-based drug discovery, namely via its proprietary “DragonFold AI” technology.
Founded in 2021 by David Baker, Ph.D., and Laksh Aithani, Charm is using deep-learning models via its proprietary platform, DragonFold, to predict the co-crystal structure of a protein-ligand complex based on a protein's primary sequence and the ligand’s chemical structure. In doing so, these models help discover and develop new medicines aimed at treating previously hard-to-drug targets including certain forms of cancer.
“Due to the end-to-end nature of DragonFold, it has the potential to simultaneously determine the binding site and model induced fit as well as predict the pose and affinity of the ligand, thus unlocking the true potential of structure-based drug design,” explained Aithani. “We are advancing this technology and its application to the hit discovery, hit-to-lead, and lead optimisation processes of small molecule drug discovery.”
“The work of David Baker in predicting highly accurate three-dimensional structures of proteins offers potential to explore new frontiers in medicine, approaching disease targets previously considered undruggable,” commented CHARM Therapeutics has been created to combine these breakthroughs in 3D deep-learning with excellence in drug discovery and development,” said Boston-based Odyssey Therapeutics founder and CEO and executive chair at Charm Therapeutics Gary D. Glick Ph.D. “With the support of these high-quality new investors, we look forward to realising these goals.”